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ERIC Number: EJ1110007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
EISSN: N/A
Student Evaluations of Physics Teachers: On the Stability and Persistence of Gender Bias
Potvin, Geoff; Hazari, Zahra
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v12 n2 p020107-1-020107-9 Jul-Dec 2016
There is a long history of research which confounds the simple interpretation that evaluations in an educational context are purely measures of competency. One such issue is that of gender bias in student evaluations of their teachers. In our prior work, we found that male students underrated female high school teachers in biology and chemistry while all students underrated female high school teachers in physics. In the current work, we independently checked and extended this earlier work to examine the effect of physics identity on student evaluations and gender bias. Employing multiple regression on survey data from a representative sample of 6772 college students across the U.S., attending both 2-year and 4-year post-secondary institutions (including STEM and non-STEM majors), we find the core physics effect is unchanged despite a gap between studies of nearly 10 years. Namely, both male and female students underrate their female high school physics teachers, even after controlling for physics grades and classroom experiences. Our new focus on physics identity reveals that students with a strong physics identity show a larger gender bias in favor of male teachers than those with less of a physics identity. These results may help to explain how structures that privilege certain groups and marginalize others are prevalent amongst the youngest members of a defined physics community and may serve to uphold the status quo as these young members traverse to higher levels of physics community membership. Furthermore, biased evaluative feedback structures may be one of the propagators of women's lower competency beliefs in physics, a result that has been found by many prior studies. [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.]
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail: assocpub@aps.org; Web site: http://prst-per.aps.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1036617